This research addresses the drivers of growth in an automotive components industry. This research looks at a sub-sector within the South African components industry namely the catalytic converter industry. This research investigates foreign ownership, innovation activities and levels of education as possible drivers of growth in the catalytic converter industry. This research compares the results of the analysis on foreign ownership, innovation activities and levels of education of the catalytic converter industry against the results of the components industry. The reason for doing that is to see if there are significant differences between the two industries. This research made use of data collected as part of a collaborative study that was conducted in the total South African components industry. In 2007 the catalytic converter industry was responsible for 55 percent of the R39 Billion worth of the total components that was exported. The purpose of this research is to understand what drives growth in the catalytic converter industry. The findings of this research do not provide enough proof to exactly identify why the catalytic converter industry is so successful if compared against the components industry. No significant difference was detected when the results of the catalytic converter industry is compared against the results of the components industry in terms of innovation, levels of education and levels of foreign ownership. The only slight difference that was measured was that the probability of some product and process innovation taking place in the catalytic converter industry is higher than the probability that some product and process innovation taking place in the components industry. This is not enough proof to differentiate the two industries completely from each other. Many questions remain unanswered on what exactly drives the success of the catalytic converter industry. Further in-depth qualitative as well as quantitative studies must be conducted to understand the South African catalytic converter industry in full.